[Reality and social interpretation of health].

Research paper by J G JG Gostomzyk

Indexed on: 02 May '01Published on: 02 May '01Published in: Gesundheitswesen (Bundesverband der Arzte des Offentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Germany))


The health profile of a human society depends upon its social development and in particular upon current social and cultural conditions. Health can be defined in many ways; both the pathogenetic and the salutogenetic approaches have their merits. Partial aspects of reality are offered for example by attempts to describe health conditions quantitatively by means of health indicators such als life expectancy, mortality, morbidity, incapacity to work, use made of medical services, and the like. The description of health must encompass the entire range of its objective and subjective experience in its somatic, mental and social dimensions. Epidemiological data must always be supplemented by the results of phenomenological observations to obtain a true picture of the experience of reality and the acceptance of the results by the group under observation.